It's impossible to overstate how central polling is to the political class in Australia. It is commonplace for politicians and staffers to obsess over every poll for evidence of how they will go at the next election and how their party and leader are performing -- and that the media love reporting polling stories. The heavy reliance on polling is reinforced by existing trends in the media, in which outlets have cut back on journalists, forcing those left behind to cover far more with less time, which encourages race-calling journalism rather than more resource-intensive policy analysis.
Veteran Liberal staffer and Abbott loyalist Peta Credlin called our obsession with polls damaging to democracy. "It's not good the way that we fixate on these fortnightly polls," she said in the wake of the election, "and we can see now how far away they are from the actual results."